Vodafone (LON:VOD) is poised to start a process to appoint a new auditor as it prepares to ditch PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Sky News has revealed. The move is related to legal action over the collapse of Phones 4U.
Vodafone’s share price has jumped in London in today’s session, having added 1.05 percent to 159.52p as of 13:47 GMT, largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 1.03 percent higher at 6,770.35 points. The group’s shares have lost just under 32 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 10.3-percent dip in the Footsie.
Telco to ditch PwC
Sky News reported last night that Vodafone was expected to decide within weeks that it will launch a process to appoint a new auditor. The newswire notes that the blue-chip telco has been considering parting company with PwC – which has overseen the mobile phone giant’s books since 2014 – for more than a year. The move will come because of the threat of litigation against the FTSE 100 group from PwC in its role as administrator to Phones 4U, which collapsed four years ago after the mobile network and some of its rivals cancelled their distribution contracts with the retailer.
Sources indicated to the newswire that while Vodafone had yet to make a final decision to tender its audit contract, it was now ‘overwhelmingly likely’.
Analysts on Vodafone
Deutsche Bank, which rates Vodafone as a ‘buy,’ boosted its price target on the shares from 265p to 268p yesterday, while earlier this week, Barclays reaffirmed its ‘overweight’ stance on the stock, trimming its valuation from 220p to 215p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip telco currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 159.46p on the shares.